A transcription of the obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Joseph Baldwin is attached. Baldwin writes as follows: ‘That religion which he preached to others, bore him up in the time of his greatest sufferings, and gave him peace and resignation as he neared the verge of the grave. He took a pleasure in conversing about the movements of the Connexion; his soul burned with celestial fire while listening to the news of success which came from different parts. During the last months of his life, he frequently said to the writer, after returning from appointments, “What success have you had in your round?” He was a thorough-going warm-hearted Primitive Methodist, and a friend to the ministers, and made them welcome to the best that his house could afford. He was affable, obliging, and possessed a tolerable knowledge of men and things. He was ever ready to do good to the bodies and souls of men. This caused him to be respected in Silsden and the circuit generally. The cry is, “He will be a missed man,” however, we must submit to the providence of God, and prepare to meet him in heaven.’
Thomas was born in September 1792 at Colchester, Essex, to parents John and Mary. He was baptised on 14 October 1792 at St Leonard, Colchester.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Thomas.
- 1841 schoolmaster
- 1851 schoolmaster & druggist
He married Eleanor (Ellen) Clark (1801-1881) in August 1828 at Knaresborough, Yorkshire. Banns were read in Knaresborough on 20 July, 27 July and 3 August. Records identify eight children.
- John Thomas (1829-1834)
- Mary Elizabeth (b1831) – a dressmaker (1851); a teacher (1871); married William Johnson, a tailor, in 1880
- Eleanor Jane (1835-1892) – married James Laycock, a chain maker, in 1861
- Roda Ann (1833-1833)
- Sarah Ann (1838-1901) – a dressmaker (1861); a draper (1891)
- Martha Alethea (1840-1890) – a worsted handloom weaver (1861)
- Hannah Maria (b1843)
- Deborah Louisa (1846-1920) – a worsted handloom weaver (1861); married Thomas Cryer, a worsted overlooker (1881), in 1875
Thomas died on 7 June 1858 at Silsden, Yorkshire.
- 1824 Norwich
- 1825 Ripon
- 1826 Carlisle
- 1828 Preston
- 1829 Keighley
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1858/523
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
Note: Some records identify Eleanor’s maiden name as Scott, i.e. baptism records for Mary Elizabeth and Eleanor Jane. The marriage record has surname Clark and the birth record for Hannah Maria identifies mother’s maiden name as Clark.